New College Swindon Takes Panto to GWH Children’s Ward

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Each year, poorly young people at the Great Western Hospital look forward to a festive performance. A charity usually visits the hospital to transform the wards into temporary theatres for pop-up pantomimes. However, this year the charity was unable to stop in Swindon due to commitments with their tour across the UK. 

New College Swindon have stepped in to save the day and will be bringing an adapted version of their Christmas panto ‘Cinderella and Her Interstellar Adventure’ to the hospital. The children will be able to enjoy the comic adventures of Lucy Skywalker as she battles the evil Daft Vader, in an inter-galactic tale of Cinderella meets Star Wars.

Nicola Brown, BTEC Performing Arts Performance Programme Leader said: “Our Performing Arts Students are now in the final stages of the rehearsals and are working hard to produce a bespoke five-person panto which will be performed exclusively to the patients on the 19th December.”

Performing Arts, Dance and Media Make-up departments are all playing a role in bringing the panto together. Students are excited to visit the hospital and showcase their fantastic production, which will include eye-catching make-up and dazzling costumes.

Gemma Mulrooney, Hair and Media Make-up Course Leader said: “When I first read that the children's ward wasn't getting a panto I contacted Nicola and Alisa straight away to see if this was something we could offer. It’s a fantastic opportunity for the Performing Arts learners to perform outside of a theatre setting but also for such a good cause - bringing Joy and laughter to children who need it the most. That is what Christmas is all about.”

Dance Lecturer Alisa Holt added: “The students all jumped at the chance to help, because just like the staff, they wanted to be able to make the children at the hospital smile! We are really proud of the way that they were so keen to help out and have given up their own time to spread a little Christmas joy.”